Our eyes are on You

We know not what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12) It’s true, do we really know what we’re doing?  What is this mission we’re on?  Keep our eyes on Jesus. When we don’t know what to do, where are we supposed to look?  To HIM.  The author & perfecter of our life.  

Many times, things come into our life, and we count them as coincidence.  We ask why they happened, or blow them off like it doesn’t mean anything….but what if it SHOULD mean something?  I sometimes go through life, noticing some things and not others, or maybe paying attention to things that are big, and not noticing the seemingly insignificant happenings of my daily life.  But those things can and ARE used by God to shape us and mold us.  We as a person might be confused by the events of our lives, but God seeks to use those, in growing us into the person He’s designed us to be! 
So here’s a thought from Jerry Sittser “God, too, is an artist, but the materials for his works of art are not marble or canvas but flesh and blood. We are the ones he wants to shape into beautiful creatures. He, like any artist, sees what ought to be in us and chips away at everything that keeps us from it. That is the essence of God’s grace for discipleship, his initiative.”
Don’t you sometimes feel that God is involved, but kinda observing to a point what is happening?  I do sometimes.  I forget that He takes initiative in putting this or that in our way, to help us…maybe not what we would consider helping, but more…to form us, give us opportunities to grow perhaps?  Think about this quote from E. Stanley Jones, “Don’t bear trouble, use it….Take whatever happens–justice and injustice, pleasure and pain, compliment and criticism–take it up into the purpose of your life and make something out of it. Turn it into a testimony. Don’t explain evil; exploit it; make it serve you.”
Hm…puts a new vision out there, doesn’t it?  So when we don’t know what to do, or when we don’t understand what’s going on, we’re to look to God….but also, as Sittser goes on to suggest, we should keep one eye also on what God is doing IN us, not just around us.  What are we supposed to take from this situation?  Who are we supposed to become?  Why are we here and not somewhere else?  
Let’s look together, at the days we have here, there, wherever, and think together…..am I supposed to be learning something here?  If you’re answer is yes (which it probably should be…) then what is it that I’m supposed to see?  Seek God, and He’ll reveal that to you….individually.  It might not come right away, that’s why we’re to seek HIM.  So…go for it!

Confirmation of Calling?

Some days, do you wake up and wonder if what you have felt called to is really something you’re still called to? Have you questioned if God really wants you to stand up for a certain people, or if it was all just your own thoughts provoking you forward? What about when you choose a different direction from what you knew you were called, does God then give you a new direction or does He sit patiently waiting for you to remember to that which you were called?

This morning, as I was watching a comedy clip, using Romanian farmers as the butt of the joke, I was really moved. Now this may BE my own thoughts, but because God has placed a deep love for the people of Romania, it hurts me when others make an image of them that could be very hurtful. It just confirmed that yes, the draw is still there, yes, the pull is for Christ’s overwhelming love to cover them, yes, God desires righteousness from others & myself, yes, God will provide the way.

Though I am troubled, the people of Romania are still protected & guarded by God the Father, our Deliverer. He will send who He needs, and guide those He calls. So for now, I pray for you and them, that we all remember, “my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent men you save me.” (2 Samuel 22:3)

Staying in

So when you have a blank slate of a day, no pressing engagements, rushed appointments or fast approaching deadlines, what do you do? Do you stay home? Go out? Call a friend or just sit quiet? Do you try to hide from the world, keeping to your own schedule or do you open yourself up to take on new responsibilities or tasks?

People have often told me….I did this thing, so that I didn’t have to just sit home alone. I guess the option is: stay home or do something? Often times, I’d prefer to stay home….it’s rare that I get time to just do things I’d like to do, or spend the afternoon in pj’s reading on the couch, so if I get the chance, I’ll take it. And yet sometimes, I’ll fill it with so much “stuff” that at the end of the day, I feel like another day off is needed, just to recover! Ha. I’m sure you know what I mean.

And what about when you know an old friend will be at your old favorite spot, and you’re not sure if they’d REALLY like to see you, but you’d REALLY like to run into them, and so…..there’s the choice: do you go or not? I guess it’s kinda like staying home…..do you stay home & control what’s going to happen, or do you go, opening yourself up to something that could happen either good or not so much? What does this have more to do with? Honesty with yourself? Courage in social graces? Boldness in breaking old boundaries? Curiousity in the unknown?

Too many times I trust in my own imaginings of the future situations, to trust that whatever God desires in that situation will happen. Contrary to my own occasional belief, my mind is NOT all knowing, or powerful enough to manipulate a situation into the way I’d hope it to go. Hm. I guess it’s just a reminder that…..whether it’s my day off, or an unknown situation, to just trust God in opening myself up to what He may have for an agenda. It might be a whole day “off” but it may just be a good time to be “at work” for God!?

The Ultimate

Things to dwell on:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Romans 12:9-21
16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

19Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt.

11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

21Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22Avoid every kind of evil.

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Relying on God

So tonight, a topic came up about support & doing things like the world or like a Christian…and I said how God can make things happen without us having to do things like the rest of the world. This hit me AFTER I said it, because I guess it’s one of those things I took for granted in my beliefs. God really CAN make certain things work out without us having to do just like everyone else! The example was about Club 3 degrees, and how they’ve made it w/o selling alcohol. Well, yeah….just because the other clubs make their money from the alcohol, doesn’t mean that this one does. Club 3 relies on God rather than man to support & sustain the ministry that has been put before it. Our God is a big God, the BIGGEST, the ONLY God who is alive and working, just as hard as He has from our beginning & long before that! How can we trust in our own doings when we are powerless without Him? How can we believe that we need to do as the world does in order to make things happen? We are not of the world, the things we produce should not be of the world, what we become should not look like the world. I don’t know that there is an accurate comparison that I can give that would show just how different we are, or SHOULD be from the world. I’m reading this book about Ruth & Naomi….how Ruth was a Moabitess who married Naomi’s son (a Hebrew) but how Naomi’s sons & husband took on the appearance of a Moabite….dressing like them, talking like them, taking wives from that land…and they were accepted in Moab…but God was not pleased, and Ruth saw the difference in her mother in law. She saw enough difference that when given the choice to remain with what she knew, her home, her friends, her mom & dad, she gave it up willingly to follow after whatever that was that Naomi had and she didn’t. She wanted to follow this God that had done marvelous things & made her mother in law the woman she was. I want to be like that, we should all be like that…so noticeably different from our surroundings that people are magnetized to our God. So separate in being, so set apart, so “weird” if you will, that people wonder what it is that we have that they do not. Do you have a God that transforms you like this? I do….I just haven’t always been open to Him. But a God like that has grace, and I’m open for Him to make me different, changed, renewed, transformed….whatever He has to do in order for me to look more like Him than the world.